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5 Things to Stop Buying if You Want to Be a Minimalist

I've moved 11 times in the last 11 years.

As of tomorrow (at the time of writing this), I'm preparing for yet another move.

It can be a pain in the butt to move especially if you have a ton of stuff.

That’s why, unintentionally over the years, I’ve become a minimalist.

Since then, I’ve reaped the benefits of minimalism:

  • Being more productive - I realized it was harder for me to focus and be productive in a cluttered environment.

  • Having better mental health - I realized a cluttered environment disrupted my inner peace. It made me feel anxious and depressed.

  • Being happier - I realized buying more stuff doesn’t make you happy. Instead, you become happier when you let go of your need to buy more stuff.

And more.

Now, let’s dive into the 5 things to stop buying (or buying less) if you want to be a minimalist.

These are items I used to buy at 19 that I no longer buy (or buy less) at 29 to help me live a minimalist life.

Item #1

I used to spend upwards of $200 CAD every month on skincare products.

This is because I used to follow the 10-step Korean skincare routine.

So I used oil-based cleansers, water-based cleansers, moisturizers, eye creams, serums, essences, and all that jazz.

The result of applying all these products to my face?

I damaged my skin barrier. My skin felt itchy. My skin felt irritated. My skin felt dry, but it produced so much oil. And I kept getting bumps on my face.

At the time, I didn’t know I damaged my skin barrier so my first solution was to switch products and apply even more things on my face.

Big mistake.

After months with no improvement, I visited a dermatologist. What he advised was mind-boggling but I was eager to try anything at that point.

So per his instructions, I only applied sunscreen in the morning. Washed my face with water and put a thin layer of Vaseline on in the evening. That’s it. No other products.

Now, I hardly ever feel any dryness, itchiness, or irritation. And I spend about $30 CAD every half a year on 2 products for my skincare.

Minimalist Pro Tip:

Try cutting down your skincare products to the absolute essentials. Your skin is smart. It naturally maintains itself.

And stick to the basics of good health like eating healthy, moving your body, managing your stress, hydrating, and sleeping well to holistically take care of your skin from the inside out.

Item #2

Does a Mi watch count as jewelry?

Because now, that’s the only thing I wear on my body lol.

But there was one point in my life where I liked buying cheap accessories to match my music festival and partying outfits.

Other than that, I’ve never been into jewelry.

For me, wearing jewelry makes me feel inhibited and constrained. Does anyone else feel this way or is it just me? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Minimalist Pro Tip

Buy a few high-quality pieces that match every outfit.

Item #3

I’ve never been into luxury bags.

Or bags at all in general except book bags. But even then, I’ve stopped buying those altogether.

Now, I have one I use and love.

But I have relatives who spend thousands on luxury bags like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. They have a whole collection.

I honestly can’t relate. I don’t see the point especially if you won’t use them often. For example, I have a cousin who has only carried her Chanel bag twice since she bought it.

So my question is, why do we buy expensive things we don’t use? For a display of wealth? For status? To feel good temporarily? To impress people we don’t even know?

I’d rather spend my money on experiences and things that’ll bring me an ROI.

Minimalist Pro Tip:

Instead of collecting bags, why not invest in one? One that you love. One that’s perfect for every occasion. One that’s durable and long-lasting.

Item #4

I used to buy clothes like they were “free” in university.

I bought 1-2 items every week. Full-price. Not even cheap items like $5 shirts.

But the funny thing is (or not-so-funny)... I always thought to myself, “I have nothing to wear,” when it came to deciding an outfit.

Can you relate to this? It’s one of the most frustrating feelings for women.

So even though I had a closet full of clothes, I couldn’t decide what to wear because all the choices made me feel overwhelmed. That’s the paradox of choice.

But now? I buy (if at all) 3-5 items every year. Only if it’s necessary.

I also review my clothes every time I move and only keep the items I absolutely adore and wear all the time.

In the future, I’d like to create a minimalist capsule wardrobe that would fit in one suitcase.

Minimalist Pro Tips:

Buy clothes you can mix and match. Stick to a neutral colour palette. And regularly review your closet to donate or sell items you don’t wear on Esty or Poshmark.

Item #5

I used to buy 4 pairs of shoes every season. 12 pairs per year. Why?

I can’t even pinpoint the reason anymore.

Maybe, I felt I needed different shoes for each outfit. Maybe, I saw all my friends buying shoes and I wanted to do it, too. Or maybe, I thought of my growing shoe collection as a badge of honour.

But now?

I have one pair of winter boots. One pair of everyday walking shoes. One pair of Converse for the gym. And one pair of flip-flops.

I don’t spend any time picking out shoes to match my outfit now. You’d be surprised by how much time you save when you only have the basics haha.

Minimalist Pro Tips:

Have one pair of shoes for each season or occasion:

  • Summer shoes

  • Everyday shoes

  • Rain boots (Luxury item.)

  • Winter shoes (If you live in a place that has snow.)

  • Heels or a pair for special occasions (I learned this the hard way when I went to a wedding recently in my Puma sneakers lol.)

That’s all you need.

Today’s Action Step

Look around you. Ask yourself if the things you own truly add value to your life. If not, consider letting them go. You’ll reap tons of physical and mental benefits.


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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

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